A little past 9pm is when Judith Hill starts the party with an enthralling remix at Vaba Lava. It was a full house with nearly all seats occupied and the sides lined with people standing.
She came on stage like a disco queen: a casual yet elegant silver outfit. “[She] Looks like Tina Turner,” says someone in the back row.
With her scratchy, warm and full voice she performed to a heated room with many light effects in a variety of styles – rock, funk, soul, rnb, disco, with single elements of jazz in it. Hill presented a well balanced mix of funky party pieces and romantic ballads which she performed convincingly, skilfully and passionately. Her extraordinary vocal talent and her feminine movements kept the focus of the audience on the stage. Like she says in her recently composed song Beautiful, Hill is “beautiful and you’re a fool if you don’t see it!”
The singer knows how to keep in touch with the audience. Be it with a simple “How are you doing out there?”, a melodious “Put your hands together!” or the sympathetic and just human question “Am I sweating?”. Call and response passages drew the audience into a song. The audience was clapping right up to the last row, even if only for the first few bars. Why were there actually chairs to sit on? The music invited you to dance!
Then again, the chairs were are welcome seat for the picturesque story of the tune Chasing Rainbows which should be understood as an analogy to dreams – as fast as dreams and rainbows appear they can also fade or disappear. While on the topic of heaven, Hill mentioned her two personal angels along with her on stage before playing the song Angel in the Dark, band members Michiko Hill (her mother) and Robert Hill (her father).
All musicians are brilliant performers and played with bravado and with ease, which, above all, let the funky pieces groove. Judith Hill’s multi-instrumental skills are to be emphasized. During the songs, she switched competently between electronic piano and guitar.
Jazzkaar defnitely sparkles with a star like Judith Hill! After a long encore of three songs the audience reacted with standing ovations.
JUDITH HILL (USA)
April 23, 2019 21:00 at Vaba Lava
Judith Hill (vocal, piano, guitar)
Michiko Hill (keyboard)
Gregory Moore (guitar)
Michael White (drums)
Robert Hill (bass)
See photos from the concert here.